Vande Bharat Express, India’s first semi high-speed train, has been plagued by several issues since its trial runs began in November last year.
From technical snags to cattle hurdles, the country’s first engine-less train, manufactured by Integral Coach Factory, Chennai, continues to run into trouble almost every day. On Thursday, train rain operations were hit yet again after it hit a bike and an animal on two separate occasions during its return trip from Varanasi to New Delhi.
These delays and glitches have triggered a political war with Congress president Rahul Gandhi targeting the government and mocking Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Modi ji, I think Make in India needs a serious rethink. Most people feel it has failed. I assure you we in the Congress are thinking very deeply about how it will be done,” Rahul Gandhi had said.
PELTED WITH STONES DURING TRIAL RUN TWICE
Last year, on December 20, Vande Bharat Express was pelted with stones during a trial run between Delhi and Agra. The window of one of the coaches was damaged in the incident.
Stones were thrown at the train yet again on February 2 during its trial run to New Delhi.
FIRST DAY FLOP SHOW
A day after it was flagged off by Prime Minister Narendra Modi from the New Delhi Railway Station, the indigenous train broke down at Bahrain, 15 kilometres from Tundla in Uttar Pradesh, while returning from Varanasi on February 16. The hour-long delay happened when the train was heading back for its first commercial run.
The railway officials claimed that the incident was a case of “skidding wheels” due to a cattle run over by the train. However, after the train resumed operations, it suffered another breakdown at Hathras Junction but resumed the journey again.
DELAY ON FIRST COMMERCIAL RUN DUE TO FOG
The train was delayed by more than an hour each way during its first commercial run on February 17 due to dense fog in the Ghaziabad-Tundla section. While travelling from Delhi to Varanasi, the train was delayed by 1.25 hours. On its return journey, it was delayed by 1.48 hours, railway officials had said.
After the fog cleared, the train resumed operations.
The train reached Varanasi Cantonment station at 3.25 pm instead of its scheduled arrival time at 2 pm on Sunday. It left for New Delhi at 4.25 pm on its return commercial journey.
COMES UNDER ATTACK AGAIN
On February 20, the train was pelted with stones for the third time. The train came under attack near Tundla in Uttar Pradesh when it was on its way to Kanpur from New Delhi. One window glass of the train was damaged in the incident.
HITS MOTORCYCLE, ANIMAL ON THE SAME DAY
The Vande Bharat Express hit a motorcycle near Allahabad on its third commercial run on February 20. No one was injured in the incident. This took place near Phaphamau, around 42 km from Allahabad. Railway officials had claimed the train hit a motorcycle abandoned by its owner on the tracks as he saw the train approaching while illegally crossing the tracks.
Later in the day, the train hit an animal during its return trip from Varanasi to New Delhi near Tundla due to which it reached New Delhi 95 minutes late.
After this, the train was once again stopped at Sarai Bhupat for 17 minutes for another inspection. The train was once again halted for 10
minutes to check the air pipe hanging, after which it resumed its journey.
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